Just hearing the name Mike Flanagan is enough to send chills down spines.
He’s the director behind some of TV’s scariest shows (The Haunting of Hill House, The Haunting of Bly Manor and Midnight Mass) and today (7 October) his latest spookfest drops on Netflix, so don’t expect to sleep tonight.
But in a new interview, Flanagan revealed his new show, The Midnight Club, almost never saw the light of day.
Watch the show's spooky trailer below:
Speaking to Variety about the project, Flanagan explained that he’d wanted to adapt novelist Christopher Pike’s book of the same name for some time.
For anyone not in the know, The Midnight Club follows a group of terminally ill teenagers living together at a hospice. Every night, when the clock chimes midnight, they meet up to share scary stories.
What’s more, the teenagers make a pact that when one of them dies, they’ll return as a spirit to prove there is life after death.
Pike’s book was published in 1994, and Flanagan’s dreams of bringing the tale to the screen have stretched back almost as far.
Flanagan was himself just a teen when he read the book, but once he attended college a few years later, the director became convinced that The Midnight Club would be his first Hollywood feature.
Flanagan penned a screenplay for the project and even invited his friends and family to invest money, presenting them with a business plan.
But when Flanagan eventually sent the proposal to Pike’s publisher, he said they ‘sent me a cease and desist letter’.
Two decades ended up passing, and it wasn’t until 2019 - when Flanagan’s The Haunting of Hill House took Netflix by storm - that the two connected after Flanagan reached out to Pike on Facebook.
Flanagan explained: “I sent him a message that just said, ‘I’m a huge fan. I don’t know for sure that I would’ve pursued the career and the life that I pursued if I hadn’t fallen so in love with the genre and with horror fiction at the age that I did, and that was all because of your work.
“‘I’ve been making some TV shows for Netflix and I think they might really dig a proper YA show if you’re interested.”
Although Pike seemed ‘sceptical’ at first, a series of ‘longer’ exchanges were born out of Flanagan’s initial message, and eventually The Midnight Club adaptation was finally happening.
Now excuse us, we’re off to binge the show at break-neck speed.
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